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Březina, Aleš  

Ivana Rentsch

(b Teplice, Czech Republic, Sept 17, 1965). Czech composer, musicologist, and violinist. He studied the violin at the Plzeň Conservatory (1979–85) and then musicology at Prague University (1985–9), and undertook postgraduate studies at Basel University (1989–98). In 2017 he earned the PhD at the Palacký University, Olomouc. Several musicological fellowships and grants have been accorded to him (1988, Czech Music Fund; 1989–92, Eidgenössische Stipendienkommission ESTA/CH; 1998, Paul Sacher Foundation Basel; 2004–17, Czech Science Foundation GAČR (3 times); 2017, Universität Hamburg). Březina is the founding director of the Bohuslav Martinů Institute in Prague (from 1994), and since 2000 the director of the Bohuslav Martinů Complete Edition. The focus of his research, and that of the Bohuslav Martinů Institute, on Martinů, has made it possible to discover very numerous sources for the critical complete edition. His edition of The Epic of Gilgamesh...


Subotić, Krstivoje  

Dimitrije Golemović

(b Osečenica, Feb 20, 1924; d Osečenica, Nov 24, 2004). Western Serbian folk musician, performer on various wind instruments, both locally made and industrially produced. Among the former, Subotić was a virtuoso on the svirala or frula, as well as dvojnice, labial instruments of the flute type. Regarding the latter, Subotić’s favourite instruments were the clarinet and harmonica, and considering that brass music is a typical practice in his region, he played all instruments that make up the brass band.

The inhabitants of Subotić’s native region of Valjevska Kolubara are of Dinaric origin (parts of Montenegro and Herzegovina), and the local culture is of the corresponding type. Accordingly, livestock is central to the region’s economy, which entails specific forms of spiritual culture. There are two chief manifestations of the local musical repertoire. The first is characterized by a degree of freedom in performance and form, such as the music played by shepherds while tending their flocks, or by drivers of oxcarts during their long journeys (...


Amadeus, Rambo  

Ivana Vuksanović

[Pušić, Antonije]

(b Herceg Novi, June 14, 1963). Serbian musician, conceptual media artist, and performer, of Montenegrin birth. His artistic concept shows typically postmodern features: a synthesis of different musical styles (jazz, rock, hip hop, drum and bass, funk), ludic intertextual references (to theatre, film, music, literature), witty lyrics (about Balkan mentality, demagogy, local glamour and glitter, poltroonery, etc.), a camp aesthetic, and the extravagance of the public image. These all serve as a subversive critique of today’s media culture. Rambo’s professional biography consists of 20 albums, a huge number of concerts, theatre and film music, and bizarre public projects/performances including Pasija za 28 usisivača (‘Passion for 28 Vacuum Cleaners’), the redecoration of the men’s room at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, and appearing on a TV programme with a cardboard box on his head. He wrote music for theatrical plays including Đetić u parlament (‘Montenegrin Boy in Parliament’), ...


Erben, Karel Jaromír  

Geoffrey Chew

(b Miletin, nr Jitschin (Miletín u Jičína), Bohemia, Nov 7, 1811; d Prague, Nov 21, 1870). Czech folklorist, antiquarian, and writer. The most influential of the 19th-century collectors of Bohemian folk music and legends, he was also the author of Kytice (‘A Garland’), a collection of ballads in folk style, whose texts have been one of the most frequent sources drawn on by Czech composers, and, more recently, film directors, etc, ever since the mid-19th century.

Erben was the son of a shoemaker, and had a musical education. After completing Gymnasium in Königgrätz (Hradec Králové, 1831), he studied arts and law at Prague University (1831–3), where he met significant figures from the Czech National Revival such as the dramatist J.K. Tyl and the poet K.H. Mácha; he was also active in the theatre in Žebrák in Bohemia. From 1850 he worked as an archivist in Prague (Bohemian Museum, ...


Gott, Karel  

Karel Steinmetz and Geoffrey Chew

(b Plzeň [Pilsen], July 14, 1939; d Prague, Oct 1, 2019). Czech pop singer, actor, and painter. The best-known and most successful Czech pop singer of the 20th and 21st centuries. In his youth Gott aspired to become a painter, and after completing his schooling in Plzeň, he applied to study art in Prague. After failing to be admitted, he trained as an electrician, and during his training devoted himself also to singing. He began by studying as an opera singer (lyric tenor) with Konstantin Karenin, a pupil of Chaliapin, at first at the Prague Conservatoire and later privately. In 1962 he was engaged at the Semafor Theatre in Prague of Jiří Suchý and Jiří Šlitr, where he achieved great success singing the songs of Suchý and Šlitr; in 1963 he won the Zlatý slavík (‘Golden Nightingale’) poll for the first time, with the hit Oči má sněhem zaváté...


Janković, Ksenija  

Ivana Vuksanović


(b Niš, Oct 26, 1958). Serbian-Russian cellist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. She made her solo debut with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra at the early age of nine. Two years later Janković received a state scholarship to the Moscow Conservatory where she studied with the cellists Stefan Kalianov and Mstislav Rostropovich. Further studies were with Pierre Fournier and Guz Fallot in Switzerland and André Navarra in Germany. She also worked closely with Sándor Végh and György Sebők. In 1981 she gained international recognition by winning the prestigious Gaspar Cassado Competition in Florence. Janković has performed as soloist with prestigious orchestras, including the London, Budapest, Moscow, and Ljubljana Philharmonic Orchestras, the Orchestre da la Suisse Romande, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale, and the Berlin, Copenhagen, and Madrid Radio Orchestras. Many critics describe her interpretations as sensitive, deeply moving, and unforgettable. As a chamber musician, she is a member of the Hamlet Piano Trio, Uriel Quartet, Boccerini Celloduo (with Christoph Richter), and Munch Trio (with Slike Avenhaus and Arvid Engegard). In other chamber music settings, she has worked with Gidon Kremer, Andras Schiff, Helene Grimaud, and Heinz Holliger. Since ...



Stanislav Tuksar, Hana Breko Kustura, Ennio Stipčević, Grozdana Marošević, Davor Hrvoj, and Catherine Baker

Country in south-east Europe. Once the ancient Roman province of Illyricum, it was settled at the beginning of the 7th century by Slavs, who were converted to Western Christianity by the end of the 8th century. Medieval principalities were quickly formed, and a kingdom of Croatia existed from 925 (the dynasty of Trpimirović) to the end of the 11th century. In 1102 Croatia entered into a personal royal union with Hungary, with dynasties of Árpád, Anjou, and those of the Holy Roman Empire, Bohemia, and Poland on its throne during the 14th and 15th centuries; in 1527 it became part of the Habsburg Empire by electing Ferdinand King of Croatia. This political, cultural, and social union with Hungary and Austria lasted until 1918. Between 1409 and 1797, however, the Croatian maritime provinces of Istria and Dalmatia were under Venetian control, and from 1526 to 1699 other parts (e.g. the continental province of Slavonia) were conquered by the Ottoman Empire. The region comprising the Republic of Dubrovnik claimed autonomy from ...


Nettl, Bruno  

Philip V. Bohlman

(b Prague, March 14, 1930; d Urbana, IL, Jan 14, 2020). Ethnomusicologist of Czech birth. He was educated at Indiana University (AB 1950; MA 1951; PhD 1953) and the University of Michigan (MALS 1960). His distinguished teaching career was anchored at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (appointed associate professor of music, 1964; professor of music and anthropology, 1967–92; emeritus professor, 1992), but included numerous guest professorships, including Kiel (Fulbright professor, 1956–8), Washington (1985, 1988, 1990), Louisville (Bingham Professor, 1983), Colorado College (1992, 1998), Harvard (1990), and Chicago (1996). Among numerous honors are four honorary doctorates (Chicago 1993; Illinois 1996; Carleton College 2000; Kenyon College 2002), the Fumio Koizumi Prize (Tokyo 1993), and a Festschrift (1991).

Nettl’s scholarship was seminal for the growth of ethnomusicology during the second half of the 20th century. He wrote or edited numerous works surveying and broadening theoretical and methodological principles, notably ...


Korngold, Erich Wolfgang  

Brendan G. Carroll

(b Brno, Moravia [now Czech Republic], 29 May 1897; d Hollywood, CA, 29 Nov 1957). Austrian composer.

The second son of the eminent music critic Julius Korngold (1860–1945), he was a remarkable child prodigy composer. In 1906 he played his cantata Gold to Gustav Mahler, who pronounced him a genius and recommended that he be sent to Zemlinsky for tuition. At age 11 he composed the ballet Der Schneemann, a sensation when it was first performed at the Vienna Court Opera (1910); he followed this with a Piano Trio and a Piano Sonata in E that so impressed Artur Schnabel that he championed the work all over Europe. Richard Strauss remarked: “One's first reaction that these compositions are by a child are those of awe and concern that so precocious a genius should follow its normal development. … This assurance of style, this mastery of form, this characteristic expressiveness, this bold harmony, are truly astonishing!” Giacomo Puccini, Jean Sibelius, Bruno Walter, Arthur Nikisch, Engelbert Humperdinck, Karl Goldmark, and many others were similarly impressed....


Kaper, Bronislaw  

Christopher Palmer and Randall D. Larson


(b Warsaw, Poland, 5 Feb 1902; d Los Angeles, CA, 26 April 1983). Composer of Polish birth. He was educated at the Warsaw Conservatory and was active as composer and pianist in Warsaw, Berlin, Vienna, London, and Paris before settling in Hollywood and joining the staff of MGM in 1940. He was one of a number of versatile musicians of European origin and orientation who helped to create Hollywood music. He composed a number of popular songs besides his articulate and closely knit film scores. His best work dates from the 1960s: Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) and Lord Jim (1965) reveal a pronounced flair for musical depiction of the sea and tropical landscapes. Kaper's theme from Green Dolphin Street (1947) became popularized when recorded in a jazz idiom by Miles Davis; his theme for Invitation (1952) was also widely recorded. Kaper's dramatic score for the science fiction film ...


Jazz Manouche  

Siv B. Lie and Benjamin Givan

Jazz manouche, also known as ‘Gypsy jazz’, is a musical style based primarily on the 1930s recordings of French jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt (1910–53) with the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Well-known 21st-century exponents include Biréli Lagrène, Stochelo Rosenberg, Angelo Debarre, Tchavolo Schmitt, and Adrien Moignard. The style characteristically features stringed instruments (primarily the acoustic steel-stringed guitar, violin, and double bass) in ensembles of between three and six musicians. Repertoire largely comprises American and French popular songs dating from the 1920s and 30s, such as ‘All of Me’, and tunes composed by Reinhardt, such as ‘Minor Swing’, ‘Nuages’, and ‘Django’s Tiger’. Performances consist of accompanying guitarists playing a duple-meter percussive chordal stroke called la pompe over a pizzicato walking bass line while soloists take turns improvising virtuosically on the harmonies of a cyclically repeating form, typically 32 bars long (see example). Improvised melodies often use techniques derived from Reinhardt’s recordings; eighth notes are swung and tempi vary considerably, sometimes exceeding 300 quarter notes per minute. Jazz manouche originated in the late 1960s, when music inspired by Django Reinhardt’s improvisations and repertoire began to be played in some Romani communities (the term ‘jazz manouche’ was never used during Reinhardt’s lifetime and did not gain currency until around the year ...



Katy Romanou, Thomas J. Mathiesen, Alexander Lingas, Nikos Maliaras, Achilleus Chaldaiakis, John Plemmenos, Pyrros Bamichas, Kostas Kardamis, Sofia Kontossi, Myrto Economides, Dafni Tragaki, Ioannis Tsagkarakis, Kostas Chardas, Manolis Seiragakis, Sotirios Chianis, and Rudolph M. Brandl

Katy Romanou

Greeks have a history of over three millennia, during which they inhabited large and varied areas mainly in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The greatest expansion of ancient Greek civilization was achieved with Alexander the Great’s conquests and the establishment of states by his successors during the Hellenistic period. Greek language and civilization, globalized at that crucial moment of change for world history, were vehicles of the new religion that would expand to western Europe. In that same period, and in the Greek language, sciences were perfected in the new centres, such as Alexandria; mechanics, acoustics, and philology contributed to the invention and improvement of musical instruments, the scientific justification of Greek musical concepts, and the preservation in critical editions of the corpus of ancient Greek literature in all fields.

In 200–146 bce the Romans completed the conquest of Greek centres, and in 30 bce, with the conquest of Alexandria, the Roman Empire dominated all the Hellenistic states. In 330 ...


Němec, Zdeněk  

Geoffrey Chew

(b Prague, 23 June 1914; d Prague, 8 Feb 1945). Czech musicologist, violinist, and music critic. After studying law and arts at Prague University, and the violin at the Prague Conservatoire (1933–7), he became a member of the Czech Philharmonic and of the Pro Arte Antiqua ensemble, and was very active as journalist and critic, editing and writing for Hudební věstník and Smetana, besides contributing articles on musical subjects during the German occupation to České slovo, the party organ of the patriotic, moderate-socialist Česká strana národně sociální. As a musicologist he was wide-ranging, writing on 18th-century music, preparing a catalogue of Dvořák’s works and editing 20th-century Czech operas, besides the items listed below. A provocative review in České slovo of a Smetana concert in 1945 led to his being arrested, tortured, and executed by the German occupying authorities.

(selective list)

ed. and trans.: Vlastní životopis V. I. Tomáška...


Rychlík, Jan  

Ian Mikyska

(b Prague, 27 April 1916; d Prague, 20 Jan 1964). Czech composer, musician, and writer on music. Born into a middle-class industrial family – his father was a municipal building consultant – he attended a realschule, with an emphasis on the sciences, and then, from 1933, the Prague School of Commerce. From the mid-thirties, he was active in popular music, particularly jazz and swing. He sang and played the piano and drums, as well as orchestrating, arranging, and composing, with groups such as Orchestr Gramoklubu and Blue Music. After the closure of the universities by the Nazi regime in 1939, he spent a year as a full-time drummer with the newly established Karel Vlach Orchestra, and then began studying composition with Jaroslav Řídký at the Prague Conservatory (1940–45), with whom he also completed the conservatory’s Master School (1945–6).

His compositions were at first dance numbers and popular tunes; chamber pieces for the clarinet and piano, with opus numbers, date from ...


Vondráčková, Helena  

Karel Steinmetz

(b Chrudim, Czechoslovakia, 24 June 1947). Czech pop singer. The daughter of musical parents, she was taught the piano and singing as a child. As a student she was successful in talent competitions in Prague, voted fourth – and two years later, first – in a poll of Czech singers. After completing high school (Gymnasium) at Chrudim (1965) she became a member of the Rokoko Theatre in Prague, and began making recordings for radio and appearing on television. In 1966, together with Marta Kubišová, a colleague at the Rokoko Theatre, she took part in the prestigious Czechoslovak Bratislavská lýra festival, and won the second prize. In 1968, together with Marta Kubišová and Václav Neckář, she set up the Golden Kids, a very successful trio, which was dissolved three years later owing to the politically motivated prohibition of further performances by Marta Kubišová. At that period she became the most successful Czech female singer abroad; she recorded albums for companies in Japan and in the German Federal Republic, and appeared regularly at international festivals and venues in Canada, Brazil, Cuba, and Turkey, achieving her highest success in winning the Grand Prix in ...


Traxler, Jiří  

Brian Locke

(b Tábor, Bohemia, March 12, 1912; d Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Aug 7, 2011). Czech-Canadian composer, lyricist, pianist, arranger, and translator. He was one of the leading Czech swing musicians of the 1940s. As a youth, he acquired knowledge of jazz from BBC broadcasts, which he emulated in his local amateur band. Emanuel Uggé, a Czech proponent of ‘hot’ jazz, invited Traxler to Prague in 1935 as composer and pianist for the Gramoklub Orchestra. Early performances and recordings attracted the attention of R.A. Dvorský and Jaroslav Ježek; in 1938, the latter approached Traxler as a possible assistant at the Liberated Theatre (plans truncated by Ježek’s sudden prewar emigration).

In 1939 Traxler signed a five-year contract with R.A. Dvorský, whose company included recording, sheet-music publishing, and multiple touring orchestras. His arrangements for the swing band of Karel Vlach reveal a keen ear for the latest American trends, despite his seclusion in Nazi-occupied Bohemia. Three of his songs, including ...


Angi, Ştefan  

Gabriel Banciu and Cristina Şuteu

[Angi István]

(b Ojdula, 16 Oct 1933) Romanian music aesthetician and musicologist. He is considered the founder of musical aesthetics in Romania. Ştefan Angi studied at Cluj-Napoca Conservatory (1953–8) where his teachers included Márkos Albert (music theory), Jodál Gabor (harmony), Max Eisikovits (counterpoint), Jagamas János (forms), Földes László (aesthetics), Lakatos István and Benkő András (music history), Zsurka Péter (violin), Ana Voileanu-Nicoară (chamber music), Antonin Ciolan (orchestral ensemble), and Szenik Ilona (folklore). He then studied at Lomonosov Moscow State University (1963–5), with the philosopher Valentin Ferdinandovich Asmus, where he graduated with a dissertation on Music and Affectivity and took the PhD in Romania in 1966. In 1958 he joined the academic staff of Cluj-Napoca Conservatory and between 1976 and 1986 was the dean of the Theoretic Faculty. He was awarded the ‘Cultural Merit’ medal (1970) and the ‘Romanian Academy Award’ (1977). Angi is a permanent correspondent on serial radio broadcasts, has published more than 100 articles, and has attended 70 conferences – on musicology, philosophy, and aesthetics....


Banciu, Gabriel Marius  

Cristina Şuteu

(b Sibiu, 4 Nov 1956) Romanian musicologist and music aesthetician. He studied at Cluj-Napoca Conservatory (1976–81) where he joined the academic staff (in 1996), earned a doctorate on music aesthetics (1999), was pro-rector (2008–12), and became president of the Senate in 2012.

Owing to his multiple interests Banciu has been recognized as a member of several professional music associations (starting in 2002), an evaluator on many national committees and music competitions (starting in 2006), a member of the board of directors at the Union of Romanian Composers and Musicologists (starting in 2014), the vice-president of the ‘Performing Arts Commission’ within the National Council for the Certification of University Titles, Diplomas, and Certificates (C.N.A.T.D.C.U., starting in 2016), a peer reviewer on journals (Musicology Papers, Musicology Today, Studia Musica), and an organizer of international conferences (The International Congress on Musical Signification in ...


Epoque Quartet  

Ian Mikyska

Czech string quartet, founded 1999. Its line-up has remained constant since its foundation: David Pokorný and Vladimír Klánský on violins, Vladimír Kroupa on viola, and Vít Petrášek on cello. Although classical repertoire remains central to their professional lives, the Epoque Quartet is remarkable for the breadth and professionalism of its ‘crossover’ work. The quartet has performed with the leading artists of Czech popular music, arranged world music from various traditions (most recently with the clarinettist Irvin Venyš for their CD Irvin_Epoque), and given the premières of over 80 pieces, the style of which ranges from rock- and jazz-influenced music to contemporary art music, mostly by Czech composers including Jan Kučera, Petr Wajsar, Jan Dušek, Gabriela Vermelho, and others.

Their open-mindedness and long-standing interest in various musical fields allows them to perform stylistically in a way classically-trained ensembles often find problematic, particularly in terms of rhythm, feeling, and energy when performing jazz- and rock-influenced repertoire....


Venyš, Irvin  

Ian Mikyska

(b Kyjov, 15 June 1981). Czech clarinetist. Studied at the Brno Conservatory with Břetislav Winkler and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU) with Jiří Hlaváč and Vlastimil Mareš, where he completed his PhD dissertation on the topic of the clarinet concerto repertoire in the 20th century. He also spent an important year with Michel Arrignon at the Paris Conservatoire.

He performs classical repertoire with the pianists Martin Kasík, Ivo Kahánek, and Daniel Wiesner and contemporary music with the Ostravská banda and the Berg Orchestra. Though most active as a performer of classical and contemporary music, he is also involved in several multi-genre projects, such as Irvin_Epoque with the Epoque Quartet, which mixes folk, jazz, and composed music, or JA-RA-LAJ, a solo CD inspired by Romani music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

He has performed at festivals including Mitte Europa, the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, Mozart, der Europäer Mannheim, Prague Spring, Dvořák’s Prague, and others, and with conductors, including Radovan Vlatkovič, Zakhar Bron, Peter Czaba, Igor Ardašev, and ...